MADI DETTLINGER ’13 | Staff Writer
My first year of really getting involved in ArtFest and displaying my work was last year, as a sophomore. I had spent hours after school shooting, dying (with toner, of course), matting and gluing to create the three silver print pieces I was extremely proud of. Nothing could compare to my excitement as I walked into the Multi Purpose Room and searched for my photos….and searched….and searched…
Finally, I found them, wedged amongst the thirty other photography pieces from my class, closer to the floor than eye-level. I learned a lesson that year. Everyone has to start at the bottom. It takes time and effort to finally get to a point where your work is enjoyed by more than just your parents.
That being said, it was nice to get my moment this year. In the fall, I submitted a poster design for ArtFest, which was quickly shot down by art department head Kit Aro, I reshot, improved, and submitted again. The idea was simple, focusing on all the potential of the individual artist and the color and creativity that comes from the work they create with their hands. I set up my tripod, covered my hands in magic marker and watercolor paints, and started shooting.
I will confess that I didn’t really see myself winning the contest. I knew my design was good, but what chance did I have against the huge amount of older, more experienced students submitting ideas? I was but a lowly Photography II student up against AP kids and other amazing artists, so when I got a call from dad informing me of the Mothers’ Club’s choice, I was ecstatic, and frankly, stunned.
After two minutes of solid 12-year-old girl style squealing, five minutes of dancing to “Shake It,” and one regrettable moment in which I attempted to do a one-footed victory dance and tripped, and quickly became sprawled across my living room floor, I sat back and thanked my 14-year-old self for filling out a schedule that included photography freshmen year.
While it was a bit of a shock to see my hands and face plastered on every corner of the school and the community, I was extremely grateful to the Mothers’ Club and to my wonderful photography teacher. Nothing could compare to hearing my name called out during the awards ceremony. I was so proud of the work that I had done, and all that had been accomplished by the students of the Grosse Pointe South Art Department.
As Allison Baker, Mothers’ Club President, put it, ArtFest is like our playoffs. It is our chance to display all that we have worked for throughout the year and to look up at it proudly. It is our chance to be recognized, and to watch as people’s eyes flit across our work with recognition or emotion. Seeing someone resonate with work that you’ve spent all year creating is the greatest feeling in the world, and I am proud to have been a part of ArtFest 2012.
Check out the slide show below for other artists’ work: